Please help me welcome my friend and fellow author, Diane Burton. Be sure to grab your copy of Numbers Never Lie – It’s a great romantic suspense read!
(Check out the Rafflecopter Giveaway at the end of the post!)
10 Moments That Changed Maggie Sinclair’s Life
Thanks for having me here on your blog, Alicia. I’m so happy to have the chance to share my latest release, Numbers Never Lie, a romantic suspense, with your readers. Normally, I’d say you and your readers. But since you edited my book, I think you’ve already read it. 😊
I’ve already done my 10 Moments, so I thought it might be a good way to learn about a character. So here’s the “star” of Numbers Never Lie and the moments that changed Maggie Sinclair’s life.
- I was five the summer Drew Campbell moved to our neighborhood. He was eight, the same age as my brother, Jack. Those two became best friends and tried to shut me out. I wouldn’t let them. Later, only my prowess in baseball made them choose me for their team. At fifteen, I had the world’s biggest crush on Drew. He said I kissed like a guppy.
- At twenty-two, I married Roger Dodger. Actually, his last name is Dixon. I was young and stupid, and Drew was married by then. Roger was the king of lies, affairs, and abuse. Mostly emotional abuse. The second time he hit me, I said sayonara and got out of that marriage. After therapy, I took self-defense classes. Both helped my self-esteem that was at an all-time low. I learned that I was stronger than I thought.
- Also at twenty-two, I started teaching high school kids and coaching girls’ baseball. I love sharing my knowledge of my favorite game.
- My parents died when I was twenty-five. Mom got influenza that went into pneumonia. Six months after she died, Dad had a fatal heart attack. Jack and I figure he missed Mom so much he really died of heartache.
- Four years ago, I joined my best friend who’d organized a group of preteen girls and taught them how to camp. We were in Girl Scouts together, and she was a gung-ho outdoors woman. Last year, she moved, and I “inherited” the group. We can’t go camping without another chaperone. The girls’ moms don’t want to, and the dads are too busy. The girls feared their camping days are over, and they’d never get to camp on Isle Royale.
- Drew’s daughter said her dad volunteered to go with them on an overnight trip. The girls’ were ecstatic. I was torn between relief that the girls wouldn’t be disappointed and skittishness because I was still attracted to him, especially since his wife died.
- Returning from that trip and discovering my brother had died in a car accident. Devastated, crushed, stunned, lost. Those words aren’t strong enough to match how I felt.
- Investigating the accident. Too many inconsistencies made me suspicious. The sheriff blew me off. So did Drew, at first.
- Together, Drew and I discovered why Jack was killed and capture the bad guy.
- Drew and I are getting married. The camping group will give me away. According to Drew, our honeymoon will not feature camping.
NUMBERS NEVER LIE
A Romantic Suspense
By Diane Burton
Length: approx. 80,000 words
Free with Kindle Unlimited
A shocking secret brings danger to Jack Sinclair and his sister Maggie.
As kids, they were the fearless threesome. As adults, Jack’s an accountant; Drew, a lawyer; Maggie, a teacher and camping troop leader. Upon returning from a weekend camping trip, Maggie receives horrifying news. She refuses to believe her brother Jack’s fatal car crash was an accident. If the police won’t investigate, she’ll do it herself. Convincing Drew Campbell to help is her only recourse.
Drew Campbell was too busy to return his best friend’s phone call. Too busy to attend a camping meeting important to his teen daughter. Too busy to stay in touch with Jack. Logic and reason indicate Jack’s accident was just that–an accident caused by fatigue and fog. Prodded by guilt, he’ll help Maggie even if he thinks she’s wrong.
A break-in at Jack’s condo convinces Maggie she’s right. Then her home is searched. What did Jack do that puts Maggie in danger?
During lunch, Jack asked about the camping equipment in the garage. “I thought your camping days were over when Trish moved away.”
As it often did, Maggie’s eyes teared up at the thought of Trish Morrow. They’d been best friends since kindergarten. A natural born leader, Trish could get anybody to do anything—like conning Maggie into helping with the group of pre-teen campers. Last summer, after eight months of unemployment, Trish’s husband took a job in Denver. Trish and the kids followed, and there went the leader of the group.
“We’ve been meeting,” Maggie said around the lump in her throat.
“Suck-er.” Jack grinned. “How many volunteer jobs do you have now? Little League umpire, peewee hockey ref, high school girls’ baseball coach—”
“I get paid for that one,” she interrupted. “Can I help it if the girls wanted to get together to talk?”
“From the camping equipment you were loading into your SUV, it looks like you’re going to do more than talk.”
She shrugged. “They still want to go to Isle Royale. Their theory is if they practice camping all summer and into the fall, Trish will come back for the trip next summer. We’re going on an overnight camping trip tomorrow.”
“You got another mother to help chaperone?”
Maggie grimaced. “Not exactly.”
He dropped his sandwich. “You aren’t taking the girls by yourself? That’s crazy.”
“Add in irresponsible, brother dear. Which I’m not. I’d never take kids on a trip without another adult.” She eyed him with an appraising expression.
Jack held up his hands. “Don’t look at me. I’m up to my eyeballs in work.”
“Don’t worry. I wasn’t going to ask you, although it did cross my mind.”
Despite her brother’s usually super-neat appearance, he loved the outdoors almost as much as Maggie. Sports and scouts were his life when they were kids—just like her. While he went from Tiger Cubs through to achieving Eagle Scout status, she’d gone from Daisy Girl Scouts to earning her Gold Award. That made having a group of campers not affiliated with Girl Scouts a little weird. But, Trish didn’t like organizations with rules and regulations and, since Maggie hadn’t been in charge, she went along with her best friend.
Now her BFF was gone, and guess who was in charge?
“So, who’s helping you with the troop?” Jack pulled a couple of grapes off the stems and popped them into his mouth.
Jack started to choke. She jumped up ready to do the Heimlich until he laughed. She considered whacking him on the back on general principle.
“Drew? Drew Campbell? The guy whose idea of casual is loosening his tie?”
At least, Jack’s tired expression was gone. She tapped her short, no-nonsense fingernails on the table. “I’m so glad I could provide entertainment with lunch.”
He continued to laugh—almost braying.
“I’m loaning him your sleeping bag and backpack.” She worked hard not to smirk.
“Consider it rent for storing your stuff in my garage. And basement.”
Technically, the house was half his, part of their inheritance. After their folks died, she was grateful to leave her one-bedroom apartment. Since Jack already had a condo and didn’t want the upkeep of a house, their home was all hers, along with storage for his belongings.
Jack frowned for a second. “My equipment? You’re loaning out my camping equipment?”
“He’s your friend. I didn’t think you’d mind.”
Jack started to laugh again. “Oh, God. I wish I could be there to watch.” He went off again, laughing so hard tears formed until he wiped them away. “Drew Campbell wimped out of Cub Scouts.”
Numbers Never Lie is available at Amazon.
About the Author:
Diane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance into writing romantic fiction. Besides writing science fiction romance, she writes romantic suspense, and cozy mysteries. Diane and her husband live in West Michigan. They have two children and five grandchildren.
For more info and excerpts from her books, visit Diane’s website: http://www.dianeburton.com
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